How to Give Employees the Experience They Want

By: | May 23, 2019 • 3 min read
Jason Averbook is HRE’s People Side of Digital columnist. Averbook is a leading analyst, thought leader and consultant in the area of HR, the future of work and the impact technology has on that future. He is the co-founder and CEO of Leapgen, a global consultancy helping organizations shape their future workplace by broadening executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that meet the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business. He can be emailed at hreletters@lrp.com.

Modern enterprise is obsessed with workforce experience. That’s because we live in an experience economy. We are a society of digital natives. And we are surrounded by a mobile-first world in which information, goods and services come to us easily, at the sound of our voice or the tap of a screen.

If you don’t think you’re a digital native, consider this: Do you use email or write handwritten letters? Do you own a smartphone? Know how to text? Have you ever ordered anything online? And I’m not talking about technological prowess; we adapt to technology more than we adopt it. Over time and without batting an eye, in every generation and across the globe, our everyday lives have made us digital natives.

Today’s workforce sets the experience bar higher than ever before, but the workplace itself struggles to adapt. Organizations must provide a competitive, compelling and meaningful workforce experience in order to compete and thrive. But you can’t give employees what they want if you don’t listen to what they say. It seems there’s a massive experience gap to be addressed.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, two million employees turn over every month because of negative experiences in the workplace. There appears to be a significant gap in perceptions of employee engagement as well: A survey by Salary.com found that 69% of employers believe employees are engaged, while only 34% report they actually are. Similarly, 81% of employers believe employees would recommend their company as a great place to work, yet only 38% actually would. The experience gap is particularly hitting younger workers: 43% of millennials envision leaving their job in two years, according to Deloitte research. Of this population, 62% would join the gig economy as an alternative to traditional, full-time employment. Only 28% would consider staying more than five years.

What does all of this mean to the business?

Organizations need to tighten up and elevate hiring, screening and onboarding practices—setting the tone for workforce experience out of the gates, and driving engagement as quickly as possible. You have two years for a new hire to churn out enough productivity to cover their own cost. Every day literally counts.

Only 20% of companies are deploying HR and productivity solutions on mobile. We’re nearing full employment; millennial and Gen Z employees who can afford to be picky assume they’ll be able to do everything via mobile, and they’ll be turned off when they can’t. Additionally, offer a great experience coming in, but going out as well—or you’ll see none of those boomerang hiring opportunities that may benefit you down the road.

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